Athletes intending to compete in Ironman Hawaii need to qualify in an age-group based qualification system. We compared participation and top ten performances of athletes in various age groups between Ironman Hawaii and its qualifier races.
Finishes in Ironman Hawaii and in its qualifier races in 2010 were analyzed in terms of performance, age, and sex. Athletes were categorized into age groups from 18–24 to 75–79 years and split and race times were determined for the top ten athletes in each age group.
A higher proportion of athletes aged 25–49 years finished in the qualifier races than in Ironman Hawaii. In athletes aged 18–24 and 50–79 years, the percentage of finishes was higher in Ironman Hawaii than in the qualifier races. For women, the fastest race times were slower in Ironman Hawaii than in the qualifier races for those aged 18–24 (P<0.001), 25–29 (P<0.05), and 60–64 (P<0.05) years. Swim split times were slower in Ironman Hawaii than in the qualifier races for all age groups (P<0.05). Cycling times were slower in Ironman Hawaii for 18–24, 25–29, 40–44, 50–54, and 60–64 years (P<0.05) in age groups. For men, finishers aged 18–24 (P<0.001), 40–44 (P<0.001), 50–54 (P<0.01), 55–59 (P<0.001), 60–64 (P<0.01), and 65–69 (P<0.001) years were slower in Ironman Hawaii than in the qualifier races. Swim split times were slower in Ironman Hawaii than in the qualifier races for all age groups (P<0.05). Cycling times were slower in Ironman Hawaii for those aged 18–24 and those aged 40 years and older (P<0.05).
There are differences in terms of participation and performance for athletes in different age groups between Ironman Hawaii and its qualifier races. Triathletes aged 25–49 years and men generally were underrepresented in Ironman Hawaii compared with in its Ironman qualifier races. These athletes may have had less chance to qualify for Ironman Hawaii than female athletes or younger (<25 years) and older (>50 years) athletes.
triathlon; ultra-endurance; swimming; cycling; running
The fastest Ironman race times in ‘Ironman Hawaii’ were achieved in very recent years. This study investigated the change in sex difference in both race performance and the age of peak performance across years in the top ten athletes for split disciplines and overall race time in the ‘Ironman Hawaii’ between 1983 and 2012.
Changes in split times, overall race times, and age of athletes across years for the top ten overall and the fastest swimmers, cyclists, and runners were investigated using regression analyses and analyses of variance.
Between 1983 and 2012, the overall top ten men and women finishers improved their swimming (only men), cycling, running, and overall race times. The sex difference in overall race time decreased significantly (p = 0.01) from 15.2% to 11.3% across time. For the split disciplines, the sex difference remained unchanged (p > 0.05) for swimming (12.5 ± 3.7%) and cycling (12.5 ± 2.7%) but decreased for running from 13.5 ± 8.1% to 7.3 ± 2.9% (p = 0.03). The time performance of the top ten swimmers remained stable (p > 0.05), while those of the top ten cyclists and top ten runners improved (p < 0.01). The sex difference in performance remained unchanged (p > 0.05) in swimming (8.0 ± 2.4%), cycling (12.7 ± 1.8%), and running (15.2 ± 3.0%). Between 1983 and 2012, the age of the overall top ten finishers and the fastest swimmers, cyclists, and runners increased across years for both women and men (p < 0.01).
To summarize, for the overall top ten finishers, the sex difference decreased across years for overall race time and running, but not for swimming and cycling. For the top ten per discipline, the sex difference in performance remained unchanged. The athletes improved their performances across years although the age of peak performance increased.
Swimming; Cycling; Running; Ultra-endurance
Objectives: To analyse the heart rate (HR) response and estimate the ultraendurance threshold—the optimum maintainable exercise intensity of ultraendurance cycling—in ultraendurance elite cyclists competing in the Race across the Alps.
Methods: HR monitoring was performed in 10 male elite cyclists during the first Race across the Alps in 2001 (distance: 525 km; cumulative altitude difference: 12 600 m) to investigate the exercise intensity of a cycle ultramarathon and the cardiopulmonary strains involved. Four different exercise intensities were defined as percentages of maximal HR (HRmax) as follows: recovery HR (HRre), <70% of HRmax; moderate aerobic HR (HRma), 70–80%; intense aerobic HR (HRia), 80–90%; and high intensity HR (HRhi), >90%.
Results: All athletes investigated finished the competition. The mean racing time was 27 hours and 25 minutes, and the average speed was 18.6 km/h. The mean HRmax was 186 beats/min, and the average value of measured HRs (HRaverage) was 126 beats/min resulting in a mean HRaverage/HRmax ratio of 0.68, which probably corresponds to the ultraendurance threshold. The athletes spent 53% (14 hours 32 minutes) of total race time within HRre, 25% (6 hours 51 minutes) within HRma, 19% (5 hours 13 minutes) within HRia, and only 3% (49 minutes) within HRhi, which shows the exercise intensity to be predominantly moderate (HRre + HRma = 78% or 21 hours 23 minutes). The HR response was influenced by the course profile as well as the duration. In all subjects, exercise intensity declined significantly during the race, as indicated by a decrease in HRaverage/HRmax of 23% from 0.86 at the start to 0.66 at the end.
Conclusions: A substantial decrease (10% every 10 hours) in the HR response is a general cardiovascular feature of ultramarathon cycling, suggesting that the ultraendurance threshold lies at about 70% of HRmax in elite ultramarathon cyclists.
To investigate the influence of anthropometric variables on race performance in ultra‐endurance triathletes in an ultra‐triathlon.
Descriptive field study.
The “World Challenge Deca Iron Triathlon 2006” in Monterrey, Mexico, in which everyday for 10 consecutive days athletes had to perform the distance of one Ironman triathlon of 3.8 km swimming, 180 km cycling and 42.195 km running.
Eight male ultra‐endurance athletes (mean (SD) age 40.6 (10.7) years, weight 76.4 (8.4) kg, height 175 (4) cm and body mass index (BMI) 24.7 (2.2) kg/m2).
Main outcome measures
Direct measurement of body mass, height, leg length, skinfold thicknesses, limb circumference and calculation of BMI, skeletal muscle mass (SM), percentage SM (%SM) and percentage body fat (%BF) in order to correlate measured and calculated anthropometric variables with race performance.
Race time was not significantly (p>0.05) influenced by the directly measured variables, height, leg length, body mass, average skinfold thicknesses, or circumference of thigh, calf or upper arm. Furthermore, no significant (p>0.05) correlation was observed between race time and the calculated variables, BMI, %SM and %BF.
In a multistage ultra‐triathlon over 10 Ironman triathlon distances in 10 consecutive days, there was no effect of body mass, height, leg length, skinfold thicknesses, limb circumference, BMI, %SM or %BF on race performance in the only eight finishers.
body mass index; skeletal muscle mass; fat mass; extreme endurance; ultra triathlon
Athough conventional wisdom suggests that organized sport deters delinquency by building character, structuring adolescents’ time, and providing incentives for socially approved behavior, the empirical evidence to date has been mixed. Based on a sample of approximately 600 Western New York adolescents, the present study examined how self-reported jock identity, school athlete status, and frequency of athletic activity differentially influenced a range of delinquent behaviors. Neither athlete status nor frequency of athletic activity predicted these behaviors; however, jock identity was associated with significantly more incidents of delinquency. This finding was robust across both gender and race. Follow-up analyses indicated that jock identity facilitated both minor and major delinquency, with major delinquency effects for white but not black adolescents.
Athletic involvement; Delinquency; Adolescence; Identity
It is unclear whether world class endurance athletes, in contrast with less well trained subjects, increase their haemoglobin mass on a regimen of living high and training low (LHTL).
To assess whether haemoglobin mass increases in world class athletes on LHTL and whether this increase is associated with peak performance at a subsequent important competition.
Two Swiss world class runners (one 5000 m and one marathon) lived for 26 days (18 hours a day) at an altitude of 2456 m and trained at 1800 m. This LHTL camp was the preparation for the World Athletic Championships taking place 27–29 days after the end of the camp. Haemoglobin mass and other haematological variables were measured before and after the LHTL camp. The performance parameter was the race times during that period.
Haemoglobin mass increased by 3.9% and 7.6%, and erythrocyte volume by 5.8% and 6.3%. The race times, as well as the ranking at the World Championships, indicated clearly improved performance after the LHTL camp.
The results suggest that LHTL with an adequate dose of hypoxia can increase haemoglobin mass even in world class athletes, which may translate into improved performance at important competitions at sea level.
altitude training; hypoxia; elite athletes; erythrocyte volume; 5000 m; marathon
Few studies have examined energy metabolism during prolonged, strenuous exercise. We wanted therefore to investigate energy metabolic consequences of a prolonged period of continuous strenuous work with very high energy expenditure. Twelve endurance-trained athletes (6 males and 6 females) were recruited. They performed a 7-h bike race on high work-load intensity. Physiological, biochemical, endocrinological, and anthropometric muscular compartment variables were monitored before, during, and after the race. The energy expenditure was high, being 5557 kcal. Work-load intensity (% of VO2 peak) was higher in females (77.7%) than in men (69.9%). Muscular glycogen utilization was pronounced, especially in type I fibres (>90%). Additionally, muscular triglyceride lipolysis was considerably accelerated. Plasma glucose levels were increased concomitantly with an unchanged serum insulin concentration which might reflect an insulin resistance state in addition to proteolytic glyconeogenesis. Increased reactive oxygen species (malondialdehyde (MDA)) were additional signs of metabolic stress. MDA levels correlated with glycogen utilization rate. A relative deficiency of energy substrate on a cellular level was indicated by increased intracellular water of the leg muscle concomitantly with increased extracellular levels of the osmoregulatory amino acid taurine. A kindred nature of a presumed insulin-resistant state with less intracellular availability of glucose for erythrocytes was also indicated by the findings of decreased MCV together with increased MCHC (haemoconcentration) after the race. This strenuous energy-demanding work created a metabolic stress-like condition including signs of insulin resistance and deteriorated intracellular glucose availability leading to compromised fuelling of ion pumps, culminating in a disturbed cellular osmoregulation indicated by taurine efflux and cellular swelling.
Cellular swelling; energy expenditure; lipid peroxidation; metabolism; myocytes; taurine efflux
Participation and performance trends in age group athletes have been investigated in endurance and ultraendurance races in swimming, cycling, running, and triathlon, but not in long-distance inline skating. The aim of this study was to investigate trends in participation, age, and performance in the longest inline race in Europe, the Inline One-Eleven over 111 km, held between 1998 and 2009.
The total number, age distribution, age at the time of the competition, and race times of male and female finishers at the Inline One-Eleven were analyzed.
Overall participation increased until 2003 but decreased thereafter. During the 12-year period, the relative participation in skaters younger than 40 years old decreased while relative participation increased for skaters older than 40 years. The mean top ten skating time was 199 ± 9 minutes (range: 189–220 minutes) for men and 234 ± 17 minutes (range: 211–271 minutes) for women, respectively. The gender difference in performance remained stable at 17% ± 5% across years.
To summarize, although the participation of master long-distance inline skaters increased, the overall participation decreased across years in the Inline One-Eleven. The race times of the best female and male skaters stabilized across years with a gender difference in performance of 17% ± 5%. Further studies should focus on the participation in the international World Inline Cup races.
endurance; men; women; gender
There are no available data addressing the potential clinical risks of open-water swimming competitions.
Address the risks of hypothermia and hypoglycemia during a 10-km open-water swimming competition in order to alert physicians to the potential dangers of this recently-introduced Olympic event.
This was an observational cross-sectional study, conducted during a 10-km open-water event (water temperature 21°C). The highest ranked elite open-water swimmers in Brazil (7 men, 5 women; ages 21±7 years old) were submitted to anthropometrical measurements on the day before competition. All but one athlete took maltodextrine ad libitum during the competition. Core temperature and capillary glycemia data were obtained before and immediately after the race.
Most athletes (83%) finished the race with mild to moderate hypothermia (core temperature <35°C). The body temperature drop was more pronounced in female athletes (4.2±0.7°C vs. male: 2.7±0.8°C; p=0.040). When data from the athlete who did not take maltodextrine was excluded, capillary glycemia increased among athletes (pre 86.6±8.9 mg/dL; post 105.5±26.9 mg/dL; p=0.014). Time to complete the race was inversely related to pre- competition body temperature in men (r=−0.802; p=0.030), while it was inversely correlated with the change in capillary glycemia in women (r=−0.898; p=0.038).
Hypothermia may occur during open-water swimming events even in elite athletes competing in relatively warm water. Thus, core temperature must be a chief concern of any physician during an open-water swim event. Capillary glycemia may have positive effects on performance. Further studies that include more athletes in a controlled setting are warranted.
Swimming; Athletic performance; Sports; Body temperature changes; Emergency medicine
Short distance road races are popular in most communities, and athletic trainers are often asked to coordinate the medical coverage for such events. The medical support needed to successfully cover marathons, triathlons, and other endurance events has been well documented. However, little information has been presented regarding medical considerations for shorter distance races. Heat illness is often seen in short distance races, especially when the environmental conditions are extreme. Successful coverage of races of any length includes thorough planning and preparation, adequate supplies, and competent personnel. Medical coverage includes organizing the medical tent at the finish line, selecting appropriate protocols for treatment, and identifying a physician who will act as the race's medical director. It may also be necessary to provide medical coverage on the race course, at other areas, and at the finish line. The purpose of this paper is to inform the medical community, and athletic trainers in particular, of some of the details that should be considered when planning race coverage. The information detailed within may also be applied to other sports-related medical coverage provided by athletic trainers.
Acclimatisation to environmental hypoxia initiates a series of metabolic and musculocardio-respiratory adaptations that influence oxygen transport and utilisation, or better still, being born and raised at altitude, is necessary to achieve optimal physical performance at altitude, scientific evidence to support the potentiating effects after return to sea level is at present equivocal. Despite this, elite athletes continue to spend considerable time and resources training at altitude, misled by subjective coaching opinion and the inconclusive findings of a large number of uncontrolled studies. Scientific investigation has focused on the optimisation of the theoretically beneficial aspects of altitude acclimatisation, which include increases in blood haemoglobin concentration, elevated buffering capacity, and improvements in the structural and biochemical properties of skeletal muscle. However, not all aspects of altitude acclimatisation are beneficial; cardiac output and blood flow to skeletal muscles decrease, and preliminary evidence has shown that hypoxia in itself is responsible for a depression of immune function and increased tissue damage mediated by oxidative stress. Future research needs to focus on these less beneficial aspects of altitude training, the implications of which pose a threat to both the fitness and the health of the elite competitor. Paul Bert was the first investigator to show that acclimatisation to a chronically reduced inspiratory partial pressure of oxygen (P1O2) invoked a series of central and peripheral adaptations that served to maintain adequate tissue oxygenation in healthy skeletal muscle, physiological adaptations that have been subsequently implicated in the improvement in exercise performance during altitude acclimatisation. However, it was not until half a century later that scientists suggested that the additive stimulus of environmental hypoxia could potentially compound the normal physiological adaptations to endurance training and accelerate performance improvements after return to sea level. This has stimulated an exponential increase in scientific research, and, since 1984, 22 major reviews have summarised the physiological implications of altitude training for both aerobic and anaerobic performance at altitude and after return to sea level. Of these reviews, only eight have specifically focused on physical performance changes after return to sea level, the most comprehensive of which was recently written by Wolski et al. Few reviews have considered the potentially less favourable physiological responses to moderate altitude exposure, which include decreases in absolute training intensity, decreased plasma volume, depression of haemopoiesis and increased haemolysis, increases in sympathetically mediated glycogen depletion at altitude, and increased respiratory muscle work after return to sea level. In addition, there is a risk of developing more serious medical complications at altitude, which include acute mountain sickness, pulmonary oedema, cardiac arrhythmias, and cerebral hypoxia. The possible implications of changes in immune function at altitude have also been largely ignored, despite accumulating evidence of hypoxia mediated immunosuppression. In general, altitude training has been shown to improve performance at altitude, whereas no unequivocal evidence exists to support the claim that performance at sea level is improved. Table 1 summarises the theoretical advantages and disadvantages of altitude training for sea level performance. This review summarises the physiological rationale for altitude training as a means of enhancing endurance performance after return to sea level. Factors that have been shown to affect the acclimatisation process and the subsequent implications for exercise performance at sea level will also be discussed. Studies were located using five major database searches, which included Medline, Embase, Science Citation Index, Sports Discus, and Sport, in
Participation and performance trends for athletes by age group have been investigated for marathoners and ultramarathoners competing in races up to 161 km, but not for longer distances of more than 200 km.
Participation and performance trends in athletes by age group in the Badwater (217 km) and Spartathlon (246 km) races were compared from 2000 to 2012.
The number of female and male finishers increased in both races across years (P < 0.05). The age of the annual five fastest men decreased in Badwater from 42.4 ± 4.2 years to 39.8 ± 5.7 years (r2 = 0.33, P = 0.04). For women, the age remained unchanged at 42.3 ± 3.8 years in Badwater (P > 0.05). In Spartathlon, the age of the annual five fastest finishers was unchanged at 39.7 ± 2.4 years for men and 44.6 ± 3.2 years for women (P > 0.05). In Badwater, running speed increased in men from 7.9 ± 0.7 km/hour to 8.7 ± 0.6 km/hour (r2 = 0.51, P < 0.01) and in women from 5.4 ± 1.1 km/hour to 6.6 ± 0.5 km/hour (r2 = 0.61, P < 0.01). In Spartathlon, running speed remained unchanged at 10.8 ± 0.7 km/hour in men and 8.7 ± 0.5 km/hour in women (P > 0.05). In Badwater, the number of men in age groups 30–34 years (r2 = 0.37, P = 0.03) and 40–44 years (r2 = 0.75, P < 0.01) increased. In Spartathlon, the number of men increased in the age group 40–44 years (r2 = 0.33, P = 0.04). Men in age groups 30–34 (r2 = 0.64, P < 0.01), 35–39 (r2 = 0.33, P = 0.04), 40–44 (r2 = 0.34, P = 0.04), and 55–59 years (r2 = 0.40, P = 0.02) improved running speed in Badwater. In Spartathlon, no change in running speed was observed.
The fastest finishers in ultramarathons more than 200 km in distance were 40–45 years old and have to be classified as “master runners” by definition. In contrast to reports of marathoners and ultramarathoners competing in races of 161 km in distance, the increase in participation and the improvement in performance by age group were less pronounced in ultramarathoners competing in races of more than 200 km.
ultra-endurance; master runner; running speed; sex difference
The study investigated blood markers allowing discriminating physiological responses to on-water rowing races, notably regarding training volume of athletes and race duration. College (COL) and national (NAT) rowers performed a 1000- or 2000-m race. Capillary blood samples obtained before and post-race allowed an analysis of a wide range of serum parameters. COL rowers had a lower rowing experience and training volume than NAT. Races induced a higher lactate concentration increase in NAT compared to COL (10.45 ± 0.45 vs 13.05 ± 0.60; p ¼ 0.001). Race distance (2000 vs. 1000 m) induced a higher increase in fatty acids (0.81 ± 0.31 vs +0.67 ± 0. 41; p ¼ 0.05) and triglycerides concentration in NAT (0.33 ± 0.07 vs 0.15 ± 0.09; p ¼ 0.01), but remained comparable between NAT and COL for the 1000-m races. Amino acids concentrations increased in NAT (0.19 ± 0.03, p ¼ 0.01), but urea concentration increased only for NAT rowers having performed the 2000-m race (0.72 ± 0.22, p ¼ 0.05). Transferrin concentration decreased after the 2000-m race (-0.60 ± 0.25, p ¼ 0.05), and concentration changes of haptoglobin differed between NAT2000 (tendency to be reduced) and COL (tendency to by enhanced) (p ¼ 0.05). Our results confirmed that the training level in rowing is associated with higher glycolysis utilization during maximal 1000- and 2000-m exercise and no difference for similarly trained subjects at these two distances. Our study also demonstrated that a 2000-m race could initiate fatty and amino-acid metabolisms in highly trained subjects. Therefore, these changes in blood parameter responses to a characteristic rowing exercise highlighted the importance of monitoring the physiological effects of training in sporting conditions and according to individual characteristics.
Rowing races despite their short duration could initiate fatty and amino-acids metabolisms.
Effects of maximal exercise on metabolic blood parameters depend on individual capabilities, suggesting that the effects of exercise or training on a given blood parameter may be monitored relatively to individual maximal concentrations rather than by inter-individual comparison.
High training level may lead to marked disruption of homeostasis which could be easily reversed by high recovery capabilities.
Energy metabolism; training; intensive exercise; endurance performance
Certified athletic trainers (ATCs) in District 2 (n=187) of the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) were asked to complete a questionnaire that assessed the attitudes and judgments of ATCs concerning numerous factors presumed to influence sport injury rehabilitation. Gender and experience differences in ATCs' attitudes and judgments about rehabilitation adherence were examined. Successful and unsuccessful adherence strategies also were reported. The questionnaire consisted of 60 statements that were categorized into seven scales: athletic trainer's influence, environmental influences, athlete's personality, pain tolerance, selfmotivation, goals and incentives, and significant others. There were no significant differences for either gender or experience of ATCs on any of the seven scales. An analysis of questionnaire item responses revealed the following as factors ATCs deemed important to injury rehabilitation: a) good rapport and communication between the ATC and the injured athlete, b) explanation of the injury and rehabilitation regimen, c) convenience and accessibility of the rehabilitation facility, d) rehabilitation sessions planned around the athletes' busy schedules, e) athletes' beliefs that the program is worth pursuing, f) personal supervision and regular monitoring, g) need for injured athletes to see immediate results, and h) support from significant others. ATCs reported education, goal setting, encouragement, monitoring progress, and support systems as successful strategies. Threats and rehabilitation without monitoring were reported as unsuccessful strategies.
Elevation of creatine kinase (CK) in serum after exertion is a reliable marker of skeletal muscle injury. Limited data exist on CK levels in conditioned athletes after endurance training and competition. Serum CK was measured by a kinetic UV method (normal < 100 U/L) in 15 long distance runners before (pre-race), 24 hours after (post-race) and four weeks following (post-race) the 1979 Boston Marathon. CK levels were elevated throughout the study. Mean values for all runners and for those finishing before and after three hours and 30 minutes are as follows: Post-race CK was significantly elevated among the ten faster as compared to the five slower runners (p = 0.025). Elevations of creatine kinase drawn 24 hours post-marathon are inversely related to finishing times among the runners tested.
Objective: To present recommendations for the prevention, recognition, and treatment of exertional heat illnesses and to describe the relevant physiology of thermoregulation.
Background: Certified athletic trainers evaluate and treat heat-related injuries during athletic activity in “safe” and high-risk environments. While the recognition of heat illness has improved, the subtle signs and symptoms associated with heat illness are often overlooked, resulting in more serious problems for affected athletes. The recommendations presented here provide athletic trainers and allied health providers with an integrated scientific and practical approach to the prevention, recognition, and treatment of heat illnesses. These recommendations can be modified based on the environmental conditions of the site, the specific sport, and individual considerations to maximize safety and performance.
Recommendations: Certified athletic trainers and other allied health providers should use these recommendations to establish on-site emergency plans for their venues and athletes. The primary goal of athlete safety is addressed through the prevention and recognition of heat-related illnesses and a well-developed plan to evaluate and treat affected athletes. Even with a heat-illness prevention plan that includes medical screening, acclimatization, conditioning, environmental monitoring, and suitable practice adjustments, heat illness can and does occur. Athletic trainers and other allied health providers must be prepared to respond in an expedient manner to alleviate symptoms and minimize morbidity and mortality.
heat cramps; heat syncope; heat exhaustion; heat stroke; hyponatremia; dehydration; exercise; heat tolerance
The ACTN3 R577X polymorphism (rs1815739) is a strong candidate to influence elite athletic performance. Yet, controversy exists in the literature owing to between-studies differences in the ethnic background and sample size of the cohorts, the latter being usually low, which makes comparisons difficult. In this case:control genetic study we determined the association between elite athletic status and the ACTN3 R577X polymorphism within three cohorts of European Caucasian men, i.e. Spanish, Polish and Russian [633 cases (278 elite endurance and 355 power athletes), and 808 non-athletic controls]. The odds ratio (OR) of a power athlete harbouring the XX versus the RR genotype compared with sedentary controls was 0.54 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.34–0.48; P = 0.006]. We also observed that the OR of an endurance athlete having the XX versus the RR genotype compared with power athletes was 1.88 (95%CI: 1.07–3.31; P = 0.028). In endurance athletes, the OR of a “world-class” competitor having the XX genotype versus the RR+RX genotype was 3.74 (95%CI: 1.08–12.94; P = 0.038) compared with those of a lower (“national”) competition level. No association (P>0.1) was noted between the ACTN3 R577X polymorphism and competition level (world-class versus national-level) in power athletes. Our data provide comprehensive support for the influence of the ACTN3 R577X polymorphism on elite athletic performance.
Athletic competition has been a source of interest to the scientific community for many years, as a surrogate of the limits of human ambulatory ability. One of the remarkable things about athletic competition is the observation that some athletes suddenly reduce their pace in the mid-portion of the race and drop back from their competitors. Alternatively, other athletes will perform great accelerations in mid-race (surges) or during the closing stages of the race (the endspurt). This observation fits well with recent evidence that muscular power output is regulated in an anticipatory way, designed to prevent unreasonably large homeostatic disturbances.
Here we demonstrate that a simple index, the product of the momentary Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and the fraction of race distance remaining, the Hazard Score, defines the likelihood that athletes will change their velocity during simulated competitions; and may effectively represent the language used to allow anticipatory regulation of muscle power output.
These data support the concept that the muscular power output during high intensity exercise performance is actively regulated in an anticipatory manner that accounts for both the momentary sensations the athlete is experiencing as well as the relative amount of a competition to be completed.
Despite recent declines in overall sexual activity, sexual risk-taking remains a substantial danger to US youth. Existing research points to athletic participation as a promising venue for reducing these risks. Linear regressions and multiple analyses of covariance were performed on a longitudinal sample of nearly 600 Western New York adolescents in order to examine gender- and race-specific relationships between “jock” identity and adolescent sexual risk-taking, including age of sexual onset, past-year and lifetime frequency of sexual intercourse, and number of sexual partners. After controlling for age, race, socioeconomic status, and family cohesion, male jocks reported more frequent dating than nonjocks but female jocks did not. For both genders, athletic activity was associated with lower levels of sexual risk-taking; however, jock identity was associated with higher levels of sexual risk-taking, particularly among African American adolescents. Future research should distinguish between subjective and objective dimensions of athletic involvement as factors in adolescent sexual risk.
jock identity; athletic activity; sexual risk; adolescent; gender; race
Several research programs are tackling the use of Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) at specific fields, such as e-Health, e-Inclusion or e-Sport. This is the case of the project “Ambient Intelligence Systems Support for Athletes with Specific Profiles”, which intends to assist athletes in their training. In this paper, the main developments and outcomes from this project are described. The architecture of the system comprises a WSN deployed in the training area which provides communication with athletes’ mobile equipments, performs location tasks, and harvests environmental data (wind speed, temperature, etc.). Athletes are equipped with a monitoring unit which obtains data from their training (pulse, speed, etc.). Besides, a decision engine combines these real-time data together with static information about the training field, and from the athlete, to direct athletes’ training to fulfill some specific goal. A prototype is presented in this work for a cross country running scenario, where the objective is to maintain the heart rate (HR) of the runner in a target range. For each track, the environmental conditions (temperature of the next track), the current athlete condition (HR), and the intrinsic difficulty of the track (slopes) influence the performance of the athlete. The decision engine, implemented by means of (m, s)-splines interpolation, estimates the future HR and selects the best track in each fork of the circuit. This method achieves a success ratio in the order of 80%. Indeed, results demonstrate that if environmental information is not take into account to derive training orders, the success ratio is reduced notably.
ambient intelligence; contextual services; wireless sensor networks; sport training; machine learning
To examine the incidence of exposure to potentially infectious bodily fluids by athletic trainers in the high school setting in the performance of their daily responsibilities. We also looked at the actions of officials in dealing with athletes with bleeding injuries.
Design and Setting:
Athletic trainer contact with athletes and incidents of exposure to potentially infectious bodily fluids were recorded at 18 high schools in northern New Jersey during the fall 1994 athletic season. The number of times officials removed an athlete from the game or required a change of uniform, or both, was also counted. The data were analyzed with descriptive statistics.
Eighteen athletic trainers and 3537 student-athletes at 18 high schools in northern New Jersey.
Number of contacts with athletes; number of contacts with potentially infectious bodily fluids; age of athlete; sport of athlete; whether the contact was in a practice or game; if in a game, whether the athlete was removed from the game by the official; and whether or not the athlete was required to clean or change the uniform.
Of the athletic trainer contacts with athletes, 4.10% involved potentially infectious bodily fluids. The incidence of exposure to potentially infectious fluids was 12.9% of the athlete contacts. Athletes in game situations were required to change or clean a uniform in 23.7% of the bleeding incidents, and officials removed an athlete from a contest in 1.7% of the game-related bleeding incidents.
Universal precautions and personal protective equipment should be used in the athletic setting. Further study into the application of rules by officials governing the participation of athletes with blood-stained uniforms is needed.
bloodborne pathogens; hepatitis B; HIV
College student–athletes are at risk for heavy alcohol consumption and related consequences. The present study evaluated the influence of college student and college athlete descriptive norms and levels of athletic identity on drinking and related consequences among incoming college students attending two universities (N = 1119). Prior to the beginning of their first year of college, students indicating high school athletic participation completed assessments of athletic identity, alcohol consumption, drinking-related consequences, and normative perceptions of alcohol use. Estimations of drinking by college students and student–athletes were significantly greater than self-reported drinking. Athletic identity moderated associations among gender, perceived norms, drinking, and related consequences. Athlete-specific norms had a stronger effect on drinking among those reporting higher levels of athletic identity, and higher levels of athletic identity exclusively protected males from experiencing drinking-related consequences. Implications of the role of athletic identity in the development of social norms interventions targeted at high school athletes transitioning to college are discussed.
Athletes; Alcohol use; Athlete identity; College students; Drinking-related consequences; Perceived norms
In a follow-up study to certified athletic trainers' (ATCs') attitudes and judgments toward injury rehabilitation adherence, previously injured and rehabilitated athletes (n=36) were administered the Athletic Injury Rehabilitation Adherence Questionnaire. The purpose of the study was to compare the results collected from athletes with those collected previously from ATCs. The questionnaire consisted of 60 statements, categorized into seven scales: athletic trainers' influence, environmental influences, athlete's personality, pain tolerance, self-motivation, goals and incentives, and significant others. Four additional open-ended questions dealing with successful and unsuccessful rehabilitation strategies also were completed. Athletes' responses were generally similar to those of ATCs. Factors deemed significant to rehabilitation adherence were: (a) good rapport and communication between athletic trainers and injured athletes, (b) support from athletic trainers and coaches, (c) self-motivation on the part of athletes, and (d) convenience, accessibility, and flexibility of the rehabilitation facility and staff. The greatest deviations between athletes' and ATCs' responses were in the areas of self-motivation, pain tolerance, education about injury and rehabilitation exercises, and degree of realistic feedback. Analyses of open-ended question responses reinforced the aforementioned results. The strongest findings derived from these questions were the importance of rapport, communication, and support to rehabilitation adherence. Also, athletes' distastes for threats and scare tactics were quite evident.
This case study examined the nutritional behavior and energy balance in an official finisher of a 24-hour ultracycling race. The food and beverages consumed by the cyclist were continuously weighed and recorded to estimate intake of energy, macronutrients, sodium, and caffeine. In addition, during the race, heart rate was continuously monitored. Energy expenditure was assessed using a heart rate–oxygen uptake regression equation obtained previously from a laboratory test. The athlete (39 years, 175.6 cm, 84.2 kg, maximum oxygen uptake, 64 mL/kg/min) cycled during 22 h 22 min, in which he completed 557.3 km with 8760 m of altitude at an average speed of 25.1 km/h. The average heart rate was 131 beats/min. Carbohydrates were the main macronutrient intake (1102 g, 13.1 g/kg); however, intake was below current recommendations. The consumption of protein and fat was 86 g and 91 g, respectively. He ingested 20.7 L (862 mL/h) of fluids, with sport drinks the main fluid used for hydration. Sodium concentration in relation to total fluid intake was 34.0 mmol/L. Caffeine consumption over the race was 231 mg (2.7 mg/kg). During the race, he expended 15,533 kcal. Total energy intake was 5571 kcal, with 4058 (73%) and 1513 (27%) kcal derived from solids and fluids, respectively. The energy balance resulted in an energy deficit of 9915 kcal.
Background: Subjects exercising without fluid ingestion in desert heat terminated exercise when the total loss in body weight exceeded 7%. It is not known if athletes competing in cooler conditions with free access to fluid terminate exercise at similar levels of weight loss.
Objectives: To determine any associations between percentage weight losses during a 224 km Ironman triathlon, serum sodium concentrations and rectal temperatures after the race, and prevalence of medical diagnoses.
Methods: Athletes competing in the 2000 and 2001 South African Ironman triathlon were weighed on the day of registration and again immediately before and immediately after the race. Blood pressure and serum sodium concentrations were measured at registration and immediately after the race. Rectal temperatures were also measured after the race, at which time all athletes were medically examined. Athletes were assigned to one of three groups according to percentage weight loss during the race.
Results: Body weight was significantly (p<0.0001) reduced after the race in all three groups. Serum sodium concentrations were significantly (p<0.001) higher in athletes with the greatest percentage weight loss. Rectal temperatures were the same in all groups, with only a weak inverse association between temperature and percentage weight loss. There were no significant differences in diagnostic indices of high weight loss or incidence of medical diagnoses between groups.
Conclusions: Large changes in body weight during a triathlon were not associated with a greater prevalence of medical complications or higher rectal temperatures but were associated with higher serum sodium concentrations.